We released more than 100 hatchlings in the wild in the past weeks. This year, the water was clear and current was weak, therefore it seems it was good conditions for a smooth reintroduction to the wild. I even saw a turtle I had released a week earlier! Not much to get excited about, but at least that one was alive and well.
On the other hand, the remaining babies (more or less 40) will be kept at the zoo for 10-11 months, as part of the headstarting program. Last year, 24 out of 31 individuals survived in our care and were released in June. Is this survival rate good or bad? Is it similar to their survival in the wild? We still do not have the answers because most of the death we had were of unknown cause (no disease or trauma) and youngs’ survival in the wild is a total mystery. This is certainly an area of research we are interested in investigating in the near future. Our knowledge of the life of baby spiny softshell turtles is still full of gaps!